3 tips to help ensure your business thrives, not dies in 2019.

1. Build New Systems and Improve (Optimize) current systems. First, what is a system by Definition? A set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized scheme or method.

 

Lets use NFL teams as a quick example, if you think the head coach of an NFL team wakes up on Sunday morning and “wings it” hoping for the best result, you’d be very mistaken. The same should apply to business, if you are waking up each day without a clear idea of what your work-flow and objectives are going to look like, its time to build some systems.

 

On the contrary, if you already have system’s in place. Using the same NFL analogy, if you think head coaches are not creating, tweaking or analyzing the effectiveness of existing systems on a daily, weekly basis, you’d be mistaken. The same applies to business, just because you have a system in place, does not mean its effective. The only thing worse than not having systems in place, is having ineffective systems in place.

 

2. Build and Optimize your systems based on your current personal not future personal. This might seem obvious, but if we really take a step back and analyze how many times as business owners we have tried to fit a square peg into a round hole, we might be surprised (I know I was). Take a moment to analyze what your team is currently excelling at, what they are failing at and build/optimize your systems off of what your team is currently doing, not what you are expecting them to do. The result will be less friction and head banging when things do not go as planned.

 

3. Focus more on Objectives and Not Goals, while also ensuring you have set realistic and obtainable goals for your business. First, what is the difference between Goals and Objectives? Goals are the end result, whereas Objectives are how you are going to get there.

 

As an example, lets say one Goal is to land X amount of accounts per day which is predicated on how many calls per day we make. Before we can even set this goal, we first need to figure out how many calls per day we can realistically make in a single work day. Lets say we figure out that number is 75. The next step is figuring out how many calls we need to make in a work day to realistically = 1 new account. Lets say that number is 50.

 

Now that we have this information, we can comfortably set a realistic goal of 1 new account per day, by setting the objective that we need to be making at least 75 calls per day. Now lets imagine for a moment that we simply set a goal of 1 account per day without establishing any clear objectives. By focusing on Objectives first, we can ensure we are always meeting our goals and also making sure our goals are realistic.

 

#Workflow #Objectives #TeamBuilding #Business #Entrepreneurship #PeterDrucker

Discipline

Character building, before business building. With this mind, one principle that comes to mind is discipline. Not in the punishing sense, but in the following definition:

 

1. The controlled behavior resulting from such training.

2. Activity that provides mental or physical training.

3. A system of rules of conduct.

 

When I started (in life in general) I always had a tough time focusing on tasks (my brain was always running a mile a minute) and no matter how hard I tried I always felt like I was failing. The result? I would quite what ever I was doing and move onto something different (in hopes of finding success).

 

Discipline was not something that came naturally to me. However I was blessed to have had numerous people in my life that taught me the importance of doing something over, and over, and over again (without quit), until it became habit (good habit). Then from those habits, skills were cultivated.

 

So if you ever find your-self admiring some ones skill or business acumen and wonder how they got there. The answer is simple; time and application. In the most basic sense, there really is no such thing as someone being more talented than you. Only experience (time) + application of that experience.

 

Discipline, its important and its never too late to start, or apply (its starts with the small stuff).

 

Some keys to starting and maintaining a successful business.

1. Your Mental, Spirituality and overall well being should always come first. If things are not right within you, how can one expect things to be right within the business?

 

2. Play to your strengths in business, not necessarily your passions in life. This can be a tough one, because drawing the lines between what we are passionate about in life and what we are actually good at in business can be tough. This can sometimes require some acceptance and humility, but can also be the difference between feeling like you are constantly chasing a dream vs living out your dreams.

 

3. If it feels like work 80% of the time, it’s probably time to re-evaluate how and where you are applying your time within your business. Building a business is tough, however it shouldn’t feel like work. Challenging yes, constantly laboring and stressful? No. This is where point#2 comes in handy because if you are constantly playing to your strengths (which requires awareness of your weaknesses) you’ll get a certain level of enjoyment. Which makes hours, feel like minuets.

 

What are some of your keys to starting and maintaining a successful business?

Overcoming the stress and fears of business.

Building a business can sometimes be a stressful, fear filled and daunting experience, however it does not have to be. Here are some tips and areas that have helped me overcome some of the stresses that come with starting and operating a business.

 

#1. Accepting failure as part of the process. If I could have a chat with the 19 year old version of myself, I’d tell him that without failure, growth is not possible. Therefore failure is something that should be embraced, not avoided.

 

#2 When problems arise, focus on the solution not the problem. Its easy to get caught in the blame game and maybe unleashing some frustrations on those you feel might be responsible for the problem. However by doing this, you’ve likely moved your business further from the solution and closer to more (bigger) problems. If the ultimate goal is to solve the problem, why waste time on anything other than the solution?

 

#3 Accepting that no matter how hard you try, someone is always going to be unhappy with your business. Sure, you want to keep an eye on customer and employee satisfaction. However maintaining an understanding that you can’t realistically please everyone. Will create a healthier work environment for you, your employees and your clients.

 

#4 Take a moment to think about what aspects of your business you’re most grateful for. Is it your client interactions? Maybe its your team? Being able to provide for your family? Doing what you love? What ever the reasons, being in a constant state of gratitude will easily reduce any stress or anxiety you might be feeling.

 

#5 Plan, plan, plan and plan some more. Lets face it, life is much easier when we plan and business is no different. Sure, there will be events and situations you cant possibly plan for. However by planning for what you can (the good and the bad), you’ll be creating stability for your business and more stability = less stress.

Cyrpto Currencies: What are they, should you buy some, what are the risks? 

‍‍Well for starters, what are cyrpto currencies? The most simplified version or idea behind a crypto currency is just that, its a form of anonymous currency. In addition to anonymity, with cryptos, there is no central authority (it’s 100% decentralized) and completely intangible. This means that a cyrpto currency (in theory) is the safest, most secure and anonymous form of currency on the planet (essentially by the people, for the people).
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Onto the next question “should you buy Crypto Currencies?” Absolutely, but ONLY if you understand the true fundamentals and ideology behind crypto currency.
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Just to give you an idea of my history with crypto currencies. When I first heard of cyrpto currency (bitcoin in my case) the year was around 2010. Back then, bitcoin was just an idea in its early stages of becoming something real. At one point, I had set-up a tower with the intent of mining bitcoin but quickly lost interest because I thought it was a waste of time. I remember thinking to myself, “ok, I set this up, mine a couple hundred bitcoins, then what? Trade them with other bitcoiners and Ron Paul supporters?” Part of me wanted to believe that bitcoin was the future, but the truth was. I never really saw bitcoin going beyond the hardcore geeks, anti government, end the fed enthusiasts. For me, Bitcoin was a cool idea, but that was it, an idea. Now things are very different because I’ve had the opportunity to witness crypto currency grow beyond anything I ever could have imagined. In short (for me), crypto currency is the future of currency.
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With this in mind, although much of what surrounds crypto currency today is still hype. Eventually, the vast majority of people will start to see crypto currencies like we see alternative energies (the future). So although investing in Cyrpto Currencies is a good idea, so is doing your research. Cyrpto currencies have reached astronomical heights, however there are still many things than can go wrong when purchasing cyrpto currency. Especially, if you do not understand the fundamentals and inherit risks that come with the exchanges needed to acquire your cyrpto. Not to mention, knowing the difference between the now 1000+ different types of cryptos available.
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So my closing advice, if you are going to buy cryptos or even if you already own cryptos. Make sure you understand all of the fundamentals behind what you own. Beyond understanding that all cyrptos are not created equal. Dont be that guy or gal who stores all of his/her crypto on an exchange like Coinbase or Binance (then loses it all). Remember, the whole basis behind cyrpto-currency is/was to create an anonymous de-centralized currency. So let us not forget what happened with Mt Gox and most recently bitfinex (which are surely to happen again).

Learn, Invest, Repeat.
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The X Factor is the “Why” Factor.

There are many factors that will play into whether or not someone will be successful in business. For me, the first and most important ingredient is the “why” factor. As in, what is the “why” behind your actions? As an example, when I was younger, whether I was willing to admit it or not, my why factor was money (the idea of obtaining power and materials), prestige and acceptance. Was my why factor strong enough to get me through the 100+ hour work weeks? Absolutely not. I would constantly find myself falling short, making the wrong decisions or quitting all together when the going got tough.
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Many years and hardships later, my “why” factor now centers around creating a future for my family, while also bringing value to our clients and employees across the globe. Where I used to see opportunities to make money, I now see opportunities to solve problems or fill needs. When the going gets tough, I am able to find comfort in knowing the sacrifices I am making are not only benefiting someone else (our clients and employees), but are also benefiting the family my wife and I are building.
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My point, the deeper the “why” factor, the more you will be able to endure. In business, endurance wins the race.
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What is your why factor?

Failing to plan, is planning to fail.

When I think back to the day I started my first business (roughly 16 years ago). There are a few things that come to mind that I would have done different. The first being, taking the time to come-up with a proper business plan that I could execute. At the time, I was a year fresh out of high school and although I had ambition, I lacked patience and a plan. Essentially, I was a sprinter running a marathon for the first time.
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So what does a proper business plan look like? Assuming you have already decided on what your business is going to be (restaurant, e-commerce shop..ect). Initially, your plan doesn’t have to be complicated, however you should take your time to make sure you have the following areas covered.
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1. The steps and items you will need to take in order for you to be open for business (along with the costs). Business Account, Business License, office or retail space (if needed), Insurance, website..ect..ect. Basically everything you will need to consider yourself open for business AND most importantly, how much that will cost you.
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2. Develop a budget for your first year of business (this should include your expected recurring costs, along with an emergency budget for unexpected costs). Included, should also be the money you will personally need to survive (rent, food..ect).
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3. Develop a marketing plan and budget for how you plan to initially market your business. I say initially because your marketing plan should always be evolving and what you first try may or may not work.
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Once you have these 3 areas covered, I would say you are ahead of the game and will have a much clearer idea of what you will need to open your new business and what you will need to get there.

Hard work is the MINIMUM requirement

The great thing about entrepreneurship is that ANYONE can do it. Where people often fall short is realizing the job requirements that come with being an entrepreneur or business owner. If there was an ad recruiting an entrepreneur or business owner, that advertisement would look something like this:
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** Looking for hard workers **

Minimum Job Requirement

– Must be willing to work long hours with no pay.
– Must be willing to be available on weekends
– Must work well with others
– Must have an incredible amount of patience
– Must be able to think outside the box.
– Must be able to fail and fail often.
– Pay NOT guaranteed.
– Work hours are typically 12-16 hours per day, 7 days a week.
– No Training Available

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Now who in their right mind would sign-up for such a job? Yet, so many of us have and the life we have been rewarded with is nothing short of exceptional. However, make no mistake. Running a business or being an entrepreneur is definitely not for the faint of heart. High risk, high reward because as contradicting as the rewards might sound (financial and personal freedom). Realizing the initial requirements to getting there are where most people fall short. The best way I can put it, is Its a lot easier running a marathon if you know what distance you need to cover.
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So if you are thinking about starting your own business or becoming an entrepreneur, (IF you want to be successful). Be ready to work like you have never worked before. Be ready to be awake when most are going to sleep and awake when those same people are waking up. Be ready to sacrifice, this means less time with your family, less time with your friends, less time watching your favorite TV shows or sports teams. Be ready to face doubt when your close friends and family think you are crazy for putting in so many hours with no end in sight.
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But let me tell you, assuming you have the right plan, goals and motivations behind starting your business. You’ll find a natural high that occurs from achieving something that appeared impossible at the beginning (and all the rewards that come with it).

Who is Fernando D. Alfaro?

Aside from being a husband, brother, son, friend and father to various fur-babies (yes furbabies), I am a long time business owner/entrepreneur. Born in 1982, my journey as an entrepreneur started at a very young age (from throwing newspapers with my brother at the age of 6 to starting my first internet business at the age of 19. Since I could remember, I was always intrigued by the idea of working for “myself” as the idea of working a traditional 9-5 never really appealed to me.

Today, I have reached a level of success that allows me to work full-time from my home or office (depending on what the day entails). While also generating enough revenue to not only support my family, but also continue to grow the Forward Web brand (my core business). Lately, I have also had the opportunity to explore new business opportunities (e-commerce and traditional brick and mortar), which has been great. In short, things have never been better for me and I truly feel blessed to be where I am at today (not just in business, but also spiritually and mentally).

With that being said, I would be lying if I said the path to my version of success was filled with nothing but clear sky’s and smooth sailings. Truth be told, I failed far more than I succeeded and having started at such a young age, probably struggled a little more than I should have (had I of just kept a more open mind to others business ideas and suggestions). Now that I have gotten to the level where I am at today, I would like to give some of the knowledge I have obtained through the years back to help those who have similar dreams, aspirations or even current business owners who are finding themselves in a bit of a rut.

What is this website about?

In short, this website is about Entrepreneurship. It is my hope to create a library that mostly consists of my ideas and experiences on starting, owning and growing a business. Through various trials and tribulations, it took me roughly 15 years to get to this point in my career. Lately I have been feeling the need to give some of the knowledge I have obtained over the course of my career back to those who need it (like I once did). I don’t have everything figured out, but i definitely possess enough information where I feel I can add value to any conversation involving business ownership and entrepreneurship. With that being said, it is my hope you will find some of the information I posses useful in your endevours as a business owner/entrepreneur.